Open-source ActionScript meets Mozilla: it’s either a geek wet dream or an odd title for a Japanese monster flickr. Emmy Huang, Product Manager for Flash Player at Adobe, reports on her blog:

New open source project with code contributed from Adobe ActionScript Virtual Machine
See also Tamarin Project page at

Now, before you get too excited, what this doesn’t mean is that Adobe is open sourcing Flash Player (too bad!). It’s the scripting language engine in Flash Player, the virtual machine that performs the magic of turning your source code into something that actually runs, being built into a new open source project called Tamarin. Taramin should still be exciting to ActionScript developers, though; it means there will be an open source implementation of Taramin and tighter integration of ActionScript (via ECMAScript 4) with software like Firefox.

It also doesn’t mean Adobe is working on a full-blown open source compiler for Flash (too bad), which means there’s still no Adobe-sanctioned SWF compiler that’s open source. But they are contributing portions of the Flex/Flash compiler, and the Flex SDK is free (albeit not open source). Some of you readers know a lot more about this than I do, so feel free to chime in with more clarification. But while SWF is still not fully open on the compiler level, Adobe is increasingly embracing open source, so the trend is in a very good direction.

And Flash Player, meanwhile, will get even more standards-y. According to Mozilla, “The Tamarin project with Mozilla will improve Adobe’s ability to deliver a standards-compliant implementation of the ECMAScript 4th edition specification for ActionScript in future versions of Flash Player.” Other browsers should benefit, too: Apple (Safari), Opera, and Microsoft (Internet Explorer) are also on the ECMAScript working group.

And all Project Taramins are good projects. The other Project Taramin is intended to protect the endangered tamarin monkey for which the Mozilla Tamarin project is named (see creature pictured at top). So, viva Tamarins of all kinds! (And, Mozilla, keep on with the creature nomenclature. O’Reilly Press would be proud.)

[tags]Adobe, mozilla, open-source, Flash, actionscript, programming, development, animals[/tags]